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in the morning, and at the end of the day, they're dead. >> with them, street to stree, as they fight assad's army. >> we are returning now, after the attack. it just shows you how brave they are, and at the same time, how disorganized they are. >> guardicorrespondent for frontlinghaith abdul-ahad, takes you inside the battle for syria. and later tonight, the regime responds. >> the regime now is bombarding civilian neighborhoods with artillery, with tank fire, and with fighter bombers. >> how is president bashar al-assad holding on to power? >> the iranians are gaining influence in syria now by the day. >> and what will happen if asd falls? >> there is definitely increasing worry in the united states administration about in whose hands these weapons are falling. >> these two stories on this special edition frontline. >> frontline is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. majofundinis provided by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant and
, 70,000 have been killed since protests against syrian president assad. robert frod testified at a robert ford testified at a hearing. this is two hours and 15 minutes. >> this hearing will come to order. we need to review the syrian crisis. it was two years ago last week on the nightly news that we saw those protesters walking through the street, chanting, peaceful. what the world saw next without the syrian forces opened up with small arms fire on the marchers. over the ensuing weeks, that was followed by materially -- artillery barrage is and tanks and aerial apartment and finally i scud missiles into cities. we are now two years into that syria and uprising. for two leady years, u.s. policy has been a drift. the obama administration saw assad as a reformer in the works. then it bet on moscow to play a constructive role. this is the assad who is bombing villages in syria. this is the assad who is ordering teenagers tortured. frankly, he is engaged in murdering his populist. the ancient city is now in ruins. 70,000 syrians are dead. a million refugees has spilled into neighb
the assad regime in syria, allowing the over flights by iran. now, if so, that raises serious questions about u.s./iraqi relations going forward. secretary kerry met with iraqi prime minister malkey in his unannounced stroz baghdad today. and those iranian flights were at the top of the agend a. the secretary and the prime minister had a private meeting that kerry described as a spirited discussion. when it was over, the secretary told reporters, quote, anything that supportings president assad is problematic. i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are in fact helping to discontinue president osaud and his regime. thez believes the iranian aircraft flying over iraq are carrying weapons to help arm the syrian government, although it rawn insists it is humanitarian aid. the u.s. has asked iraq to force the planes to land in iraq for inspections. but only a few have been checked. they have long been a point of conflict between the and u.s. iraq. >> the intent here, fwy going public, is to increase the pressure on al-malma laki. but it shows how minimal ou
and the syrian opposition to haste and assad'shasten the end of rule. he has lost his lead agency -- .etters --legitimacy to rule we have been clear that the use of chemical weapons against the syrian people would be a serious and tragic mistake. we also share israel's raid concerned about the transfer of chemical or other weapons to terrorists, like has the law, -- like hezbollah, which might be used against israel. finally, we continue consultation on iran. we agree that a nuclear armed iran would be a threat to the and israel.he world we agree on our goal -- we do not have a policy of containment when it comes to a nuclear iraq. our policy is to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. we prefer to resolve this diplomatically. there is still time to do so. must understand the need to meet their international obligations. international community will increase the pressure on the iranian government. the united states will continue to work closely with israel on steps. i will repeat -- all options are on the table. we will do what is necessary to prevent iran from getting those weapons.
assad in syria. >> there are members of congress and people in america who increasingly are watching what iraq is doing. and wondering how it is that a partner in effort for democracy and partner for whom miles per hours feel they have try -- americans feel they have tried hard to be helpful, how the country could do something that makes it difficult to achieve the common goals. >> in syria, the weekend brought word that assad was badly injured and sheikh fatig the civilian leader who appeared aside kerry in rome three weeks ago announced his res eg resignatio. >> the announcement doesn't change support for the syrian oppositionor coalition. >> secretary kerry and his aths said the resignation of one man isn't as important as need for unity among the rebels but it appears more illusive tonight. the offer to negotiate with the assad regime, extended at the behest of the administration that weakped the up port amongst the rebels -- support amongst the rebels. >> shannon: we are learning what role we play in this. >> it's been confirmed that the united states is training its own forces
. >> rose: the syrian conflict reached new levels this week. the assad regime and the syrian opposition groups accused of each other of using chemical weapons. the allegations were made only hours before president obama's departure to israel yesterday. the white house has yet to verify the claims but lawmakers are increasingly calling for action. here's what president obama said earlier today in a joint press conference with israeli prime minister netanyahu. >> with respect to chemical weapons, we intend to investigate thoroughly exactly what happened. obviously, in syria right now, you've got a war zone. you have information that's filtered out. but we have to make sure that we know exactly what happened, what was nature of the incident, what can we document, what can we prove. i've instructed me teams to work closely with all other countries in the region, and international organizations, and institutions to find out precisely whether or not this red line was crossed. i will note without at this point having all the facts before me, that we know the syrian government has the capacity
committee. >> you have this-- this horrible possibility that if assad falls and there is a huge vacuum and cass on ensues, that you have hezbollah there, you have al qaeda, you have some hamas elements there, and you have lots of chemical weapons and lots of very sophisticated conventional weapons that will be up for grabs. and that chaos will cause huge problem for the middle east, for southern europe, and i argue, for the unit stat. member,hese are sophisticated weapons system would make libya look like an antique gun show when all of those weapons spread across north africa. dangerous, destabilizing stuff. >> rose: we continue with a an analysis from richard haas of council on foreign relations, and joshua landis of the university of oklahoma. >> desperate leaders might do desperate things if they felt there was no alternative. i don'i don't think we can prevent the use unless we thaten, i if they are used on any significant scale, what do we do then? >> rose: we conclude with a look at the press conference pie the chairman of the federal reserve, ben bernanke. my guests alan blinde
and caution the u.s. is investigating claims that the syrian president bashar assad used them, the president bristleed when israeli reporter suggested the u.s. has been sitting on their hands. >> it's incorrect for you to say we have done nothing. we helped mobilize the isolation of the assad regime internationally. we have supported and recognized the opposition. >> the president first said assad's days were numbers 19 months ago. last summer, he warned of potential u.s. force against syria. >> red line for us. we start saying bunch of chemical weapons moving around or utilized. that would change my calculus. >> back in washington today, the top republican charged the administration's policy has been adrift. >> the obama administration saw assad as a reformer in their words. it backed the u.n. diplomacy and bet on moscow to play a productive role. none of this worked. >> netanyahu's intelligence director said it's clear that the chemical weapons were used in syria. the chairman of the house intelligence committee said he believes that chemical weapons were used by the regime as a caveat. >>
where there are reports that president assad, although still unconfirmed and his people are saying, no, no, it was the rebels. it looks more likely to have been assad's forces used chemical weapons, killing 16 people, wounding scores more. how significant is this, do you think? >> reporter: well, first of all, it needs to be substantiated if the chemical weapons were, in fact, used. there is conflicting information. the regime is accusing the rebels of firing the weapons. the rebels say that's impossible, we do not have that kind of weaponry at our disposal. but military analysts do believe syria as one of the largest stock piles of chemical weapons inhe world and the chairman of the house intelligence committee, mike rogers, saying there is a high probability that the assad regime has used chemical weaponry but they are awaiting final verification. bearing in mind there have been allegations in the past that chemical weapons were used in syria and holmes for example late last year. those allegations were never substantiated. the white house has been saying something of a red line, a g
. that's >>> ten years before we failed to find chemical weapons in iraq, bashir al assad is using weapons in syria. >>> tonight you're going to hear from the roommate of a campus killer. he came face to face, eye to eye. he lived to tell about it. possibly prevent the murder of other students. plus, congresswoman michele bachmann, now she claimed that president obama's wasting your money on his lavish lifestyle. where exactly is she getting her information? where are her facts? we tracked her down today and asked her and wait until you see how she responded. we begin with breaking news, news that could, could just trigger military action by the united states in syria. the news tonight, the possibility that the regime in syria, which has already shown itself capable of doing almost anything to its own people, might be doing the one thing that triggers military action, might be, might be using chemical weapons. crossing a red line that president obama himself laid down. they have, they have used chemical weapons, that would leave the president with a major challenge as he heads toni
has resigned. the founder of the rebel-free syrian army, the main group challenging the assad regime seriously injured in a car bombing. a number of developments here as we welcome you to whole new week here on "america's newsroom.". i'm bill hemmer. martha has time for the family. >> i'm heather childers, nice to be here again. secretary of state john kerry is in the middle east. he is urging iraq to stop letting iran use its airspace to shuttle weapons and soldiers to the syrian government >> for those of us engaged in the effort to see president assad step down and a see a democratic process take hold with a transitional government government according to the geneva communique, for those of us engaged in that effort, anything that supports president assad is problematic. bill: so iran claims the flights contain humanitarian supplies. conor powell in the middle east bureau in jerusalem. first of all who is behind the car bomb, the car bomb hit on the rebel commander? >> reporter: so often is the case, bill, really tough to get accurate information coming out of syria. but it is not
, as this crisis in syria reaches what could be a tipping point where there are reports that president assad, although still unconfirmed and his people are saying, no, no, it was the rebels, but it looks more likely to be assad's forces, have used chemical weapons killing 16 people, wounding scores more. how significant is this, do you think? >> reporter: well, first of all, it needs to be substantiated if those chemical weapons were in fact used. there has been, as you mentioned, conflicting information over at the regime that's accusing the rebels of firing these weapons, and the rebels are saying that's absolutely impossible. we do not even have that kind of weapon which at our disposal, but military analysts do believe that syria has won of the largest stockpiles of chemical weapons in the world, and the chairman of the house intelligence committee, mike rogers, saying that there is a high probability that the assad regime has, in fact, used chemical weaponry although they are waiting final verificatiove. bearing in mind, too, there's been allegations in the past that chemical weapons we
will need to establish legitimacy with people living in the 60% of the country estimated to be under assad forces.ti- >> tomorrow there will be a speech, and you will hear in introduction of the highlights .f the plan for the near future >> from the general who represents the majority of the armed groups fighting the assad regime, there is a promise of loyalty. >> we in the syrian army look to the government as a political umbrella for us, and we can ask the government to support us with everything what we need in our fight against the regime in damascus. >> but they cannot speak for the small armed islamist groups, and that is what worries foreign donors. >> there is a hope amongst delegates here that having most armed fighters under the umbrella of the new interim government will persuade the u.s. and european countries to supply weapons to nt-asset fighters. they have been reluctant so far, fearing that the arms will fall into the hands of religious extremists. some european countries are worried about starting an arms race, but then iran and russia are already supplying assad's forces.
. they are blaming the assad regime. russia supports the government's claim. the united states says there is no evidence. >> i am not going to discuss intelligence, but it is important that is fighting in syria and to devise any regime becomes more desperate that the united states and international community make absolutely clear to assad that the use of chemical weapons would be totally unacceptable. >> totally unacceptable -- jay carney there. steve, it is a complicated picture. what do we know about what happened and what did not happen? >> it is cloudy. it is hard to make an assessment from here. people who know about these things -- there seems to be a consensus that we should at least be cautious about these claims. -look at the video of the victims, they do not seem to have the injuries that would be consistent with the chemical weapons attack. talking about smelling the chemical agent, you would have needed vast quantities of chlorine, which was used by insurgency in iraq. these experts do not believe -- certainly the rebels and possibly not the syrian government as well --
maliki, accusing him of colluding with iran to prop up the assad regime by permitting almost daily weapons shipments from iran to syria through iraq's airspace. >> we had a very spirited discussion on the subject of the overflights. i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are in fact helping to sustain president assad. and his regime. >> reporter: iraq denies it but u.s. officials say there are far too many flights. plus intelligence that iranian weapons and fighters are also moving overland through iraq to syria. it is called survival in a tough neighborhood. >> for maliki a rebel victory in syria he fears will empower his political opponents in iraq. >> reporter: nbc's richard engel who covered the war from beginning to end. >> iraq didn't become a stable u.s. friendly democracy. but a shiite led state with close ties to iran. still at war with itself. >> reporter: kerry warns prime minister that courting iran risks his partnership with the u.s. >> i also made it clear to him that there are members of congress and people in america who increasing
that they have been hopeful, that they think there is strategic distress over the king of the assad regime. they are more relaxed about that. a much more relaxed about egypt. instead of believing the u.s. or "-- will reorder the middle east, i find that this is a sober kind of summit, about what is doable, and what is not doable. there is a lot about the new israeli government, which i am happy to discuss in the question and answer. thank you very much. >> thank you. mike? >> thank you. it is good to be doing this. it is good to be on this panel with my colleagues. one of the great strengths about the washington institute, which makes it so nice to work here, to have colleagues like dennis and david, who are a great source of wisdom on this topic. i apologize to my dearest to have hd screens to have to watch me watch -- what to watch me eat lunch. we begin these things by saying, welcome mr. secretary, members of congress. nobody knows any different. [laughter] that is the benefit of live stream. i was asked to do this in part because the last presidential trip to the middle east, rather t
, saying this is all part of president assad's propaganda effort to mislead public opinion. the white house says it has no evidence on either side that anyone used any chemical agent. we'll have more on the administration's reaction in a moment. >> first, let's get to jonathan hunt. impossible to know if this is true. but we can look at this video and draw at least some preliminary, well, conclusions. >> we can't be certain about anything, but if you look at the video that is allegedly from this attack, and shows the victims, there's nothing here that would indicate, for instance, gas, the twitching of the victims, vomiting, drooling, mustard good, you would see blistering on the skin. we don't see any of those things in this video, and also we have not yet heard anywhere in the past fewer months or past couple years, any evidence that the rebels themselves have got their hands on chemical weapons as the syrian national cancer spokesman said earlier today. listen. >> the rebels don't have access to chemical weapons. they don't have access to the means of launching chemical weapons. simply p
are going to see is more and more u.s. assistance to directly get rid of the assad regime and i think the additional line is that we're going to go really hard back at moscow. because moscow's assistance has been pivotal in keeping assad in office. >> how do we go hard back at moscow? >> first of all, go at them diplomatically. their interests where the united states and russia have certain parallel interests and work those interests. the russians believe in linkage. everything with the russians is about linkage. what does putin get from continuing to support assad? one thing he might get a higher oil prices because there's a risk premium on oil. this is important for russia. >> absolutely. >> you know, the united states is going to be a big factor in russia's future because we increase the oil production and the predictions are predicting more than russia or saudi arabia in five or six years. that's a mortal threat to russia if it affects the price of oil. >> all right. and seth, what damage could be done with these chemical weapons? you know, if we're hearing and this rhetoric out o
damascus. also worth noting we have not seep assad, the president, for quite a queue days. there -- a few days there was a video allegedly showing him meeting some of the syrian people. we can't confirm when that video was shot but its worth noting, he, too, appears to be laying low for whatever reason right now. >> shepard: let's bring in michael ohandlan. specialeess in defense and foreign policy. >> hi. >> shepard: where are we now in this conflict? >> i think you and jonathan have been summarizing it well. you can say the insurgents have some momentum but everytime you feel like you make that case they suffer a setback or we're remind of their fractious nature, and the regime is still get can weapons from iran and i'm not seeing we're seeing a shift in. i it's a stalemate with successes on either side. the insurgents are doing a little better but not persuasive they'll take the country or drive assad from power. i hope sew but have not seen enough evidence. this could be a settling into a long situation in which the government holds some neighborhoods, the insurgents hold others and i
weapons. there were reports from syria that the president assad regime used chemical weapons against the rebels and the united states reached the conclusion that that is probably not so. this situation is close to the brink of forcing the united states to intervene in some way to prevent crossing this redline. president obama's trip to the region, including jordan, is hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees and highlighted the fact that the situation on the ground in syria is not getting better. there is no sign that it will get better. it does not seem the united states has a response to this ongoing challenge. guest: the united states has been the biggest donor in terms of humanitarian and financial aid to the syrian opposition. close to $500 million so far. also giving logistical and to indications training. we are told there is some training and intelligence being given to the militants, parts of the opposition. we need to understand what is going on in syria is looking like a civil war. a civil war between extremist islamic militant groups that are not real militias. there are
, a she'ite muslim is helping to support the assad regime in syria. now, secretary kerry met with iraqi president nouri al-maliki during a visit in baghdad today. those iranian flights were at the top of the agenda. they had what kerry described as a spirited discussion. here is the secretary. >> anything that supports president assad is problematic and you i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are in fact helping to sustain president assad and his regime. >> reporter: the u.s. believes the iranian aircraft flying over iraq are carrying weapons to arm the syrian government but tehran says they are delivering only humanitarian aid there. they wanted to force the planes for inspections but only a few have been checked. >> i think the intent here by going public is to increase the pressure on al-maliki but the whole incident how minimal influence is on the regime in iraq and how minimal our ability to affect the conflict in syria has become. >> reporter: u.s. officials say the flights are taking place just about every day. kerry says the u.s. congress is
in syria that brought a signal warning from the president to president assad's discredited regime. >> we have been clear that the use of chemical weapons against the syrian people would be a serious and tragic mistake. the assad regime must understand that they will be held accountable for the use of chemical weapons or their transfer to terrorists. >> and the president said his administration is fully investigating those claims of chemical weapons used in syria. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engle join us. the first question out of the gate was a robust one, asking the president about the slaughter of innocence in syria and the alleged use of chemical weapons there. the president said pointedly that use of chemical weapons would be a game changer and that assad and his regime would be held accountable. but this is an incredibly tough case for the president, isn't it? >> reporter: i don't think the president wants to get involved in syria. i think the bar is very high. i think the president worries that if he starts getting involved in syria and becomes known as protector
. >> kremlin steadfastly backed the assad regime with weapons and political support blamed the rebels. but opposition leaders swiftly denied responsibility for attack in any event would have exceeded the known military capabilities. >> the rebels don't have access to chemical weapons. they don't have access to watch the chemical weapons. >> indeed the regime of the dictatorial president bashar assad long been believed to possess one of the largest arsenals of biological and chemicals weapons. he has used scud missile against the rebels in the two-year civil war that claimed upwards of 70,000 lives. while the pentagon restricted itself to saying that the u.s. has no evidence that either side used chemical weapons, others in the obama administration went on offense. >> to say we have no reason to believe the allegations represent anything more than the regime's continued attempt to discredit the legitimate opposition and distract from its own atrocities committed against the syrian people. >> we would warn the regime making these charges, any kind of pretext or cover. for its use of che
with the civil war in syria. how? the secretary says that iraq has been helping prop up assad as he fights for power there. kerry making an unannounced visitor to iraq and meeting with nuri al-maliki. and stopping the flow of weapons into neighboring syria. weapons that are only making the civil war more deadly. and steve centanni is here. how are they flowing into syria? >> reporter: according to u.s. officials there are flights just about every day, from iran to syria travelling across the iraqi air space. iran says they carry humanitarian aid, but u.s. says they carry weapons to the syrian government. and secretary of state john kerry urged al-maliki to crack down on the flights requiring they land in iraq for inspection before continuing on to syria. >> we had a very spirited discussion on the subject of the overflights and i made it very clear, anything that supports president assad is problematic. >> kerry suggested the future of u.s.-iraqi relations is hanging in the balance here, harris. >> harris: given the recent talks and the possibility of chemical weapons used on citizens and
simply aren't going to improve the situation. the colonel assad is reportedly in stable condition in turkey after an assassination attempt. he was one of the original founders of the free syrian army but has been somewhat marge alized in recent months. colonel assad has never been able to unite the many different groups fighting the syrian regime of the the attack on his life happened while he was touring a rebel area. there is the possibility that there is internal rebel politics at play though syrian rebels blame syria and the assad government for the attack. in another blow to the opposition, the leading opposition figure, katabi offered his resignation yesterday but it was rejected by rebel leaders. on facebook he said he was resigning due to restrictions on his work. the overall inner workings of the syrian opposition is really, really complicated. as actual fighters fighting in syria simply don't report to the syrian leadership and jenna, this really does remain a fragmented syrian opposition and two years into the civil war, it hasn't really improve many in the internationa
in just the. >> what is going to happen? >> ultimately bashar assad will fall. the timing the precise scenario are not known. but the rebels are encroaching. they control more ter another-- territory. they have half of aleppo. they are fighting in the outskirts of damascus am we can see the regime becomes more desperate with its back to the world, may or may not have used chemical weapons. but the calculus is the calculus of desperate -- >> may or may not have used chemical weapons. certainly not in an extent that might be powerful and that might change as the president said, be a game changer. they haven't used him that way. >> right. >> do you believe they would use them that way? that is not-- it's not they. the people bashar assad and those that are supporting him believe that that is the only thing they have left. >> they have made so many mistakes in the past two years that i can't really doubt. it would be a terrible act and a terrible mistake but i can't rule it out. >> rose: i think that they're testing obama. they are testing this red line that obama has put down. they have
to syria, which they're doing on virtually a daily basis now in support of basharof al-assad, which was an inadvertent consequence.an but it stems from the fact that no forces were there to govern iraqi airspace.go second, if we had had even just 1,000 special forces there,st special operations forces to work with the iraqis special operations forces we would have been much more effective against al qaeda in iraq, which is largely defeated during the surge, but not epityler. al qaeda in iraq is now morphed into the anasra front, the primary jihadi organization in syria that is causing us so much heartburn. >> rose: okay, we want to talkch about that when we continue with this segment and some other people who have written about and were reporters there, including john burns, and fouad ajami, dexter filkins, to talk about the implications also in this book-- and michael will stay with us-- having to do witl how do you measure the iraqi war after 10 years, 4,500 american lives, some 30,000 came home injured, $2 trillion, i think, is the number they put on it, correct? >> you can calcu
publicly that assad of syria has to go. that was a choice that he made. one would assume that declaring it publicly involves a commitment by the united states which the united states is prepared then to make effective. and that, therefore, we have the means and the strategy for achieving that objective. it soon turned out that this was a rhetorical commitment without a real capacity for follow through on our part. so we went to the u.n., and we demanded that the u.n. security council support us on this. not surprisingly, the russians and the chinese said, well, we don't share this conclusion, and we're not going to join you in forcing assad out, and we object, and the resolution failed. we thereupon denounced the russians and chinese as having engaged in a stance that is infantile and disgusting, those were the words used by our ambassador to the u.n. which is not a way of soliciting their support for further -- [laughter] further common policy. on top of it, it became increasingly clear that the opposition to assad is very mixed. some of it involves some of our friends who are sponsori
with the shock assad's regime. government troops and rebel fighters are blaming each other for a chemical attack near the northern city of aleppo -- dialogue with bashar alabama assad's regime. >> they accuse rebel fighters of launching a missile containing poisonous gases. the information minister said this type of weapon was prohibited under international law. >> so far, we have 16 martyrs and 86 wounded. most of them are in critical condition. the chemical contained in the missile causes immediate fainting, convulsion, and that. >> in istanbul, syria's main opposition group said they were looking at the attack rejected allegations that rebels were involved. we also know the rebels do not have access to chemical weapons. they would not have access to the means of launching these kind of chemical weapons. >> we have no details yet. we are against using chemical weapons from any side. i am not expecting the revolutionaries to do that, but we are against anyone who would use it. member for now, the reports cannot be independently verified due to tight media restrictions -- >> for now, the reports
. >>> we have breaking news tonight. ten years after we found chemical weapons in iraq, ba bassar al assad could possibly using the chemical weapons that we know he has right now. >> you're going to hear from one very brave and lucky young man tonight. >> plus congresswoman michelle bamman, she claims that president obama is wasting her money on his lavish lifestyle. where is she getting her facts? we tracked her down and asked her to see how she responded. basically, she wouldn't stop walking or running, almost. keeping them honest. we begin now with breaking news. news that just triggered military action by the united states in syria. the news tonight that the possibility that the regime in syria might be doing the one thing that could trigger american military action. might be using chemical weapons. crossing a redline that president obama himself lay down. now, they have used chemical weapons, that would leave the president with a major challenge as he heads tonight to israel. now, the suggestion that chemical weapons might have been used came a few hours ago today from mike rogers, sa
it was the assad regime used some type of chemical weapons on rebels in northern syria, around the aleppo region. of course the assad regime and assad state television said rebels used those weapons. what we're hearing from western intelligence officials, it was opposite, assad regime used some type of chemical weapons and killed somewhere between 15 and 26 people. conflicting reports. we heard 15. we also heard 26. there is a lot of differing information right now. but we have confirmed of course, there have been some type of chemical weapons being used in syria. now who used them on exactly which group is still very much unclear right now, bill. bill: conor, thank you. just one line crossing the associated press at the moment here. reuters was reporting on this a little bit earlier. we're sorting through this on our end. conor come back when you have more from jerusalem there. martha: our thanks to him. this is breaking news right now. we want to bring in ambassador john bolton to get his reaction to this. you heard what conor powell told us. what do you think, ambassador? >> i don't take anyt
are already the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the syrian people. i'm confident that assad will go. it is not a question of if. it is when. and so part of what we have to spend a lot of time thinking about is what is the aftermath? for the american people we have to recognize we have a stake here. >> a half million syrian refugees have fled to jordan. a nation already dependent on foreign aid including $13 billion from the u.s. king abdullah says assad's days are numbers but fears islam rule could emerge in its place. chuck todd is traveling with the president and asking the president as many questions as he wants. that's how chuck todd gets down. chuck, i have one question for you. what is going on in your world right now? >> well, it has been a pretty busy day. you brought up the issue of syria and this is classic all politics is local issue when it comes to jordan. this issue of syrian refugees and the economic toll it is taking on the country is clearly the number one item on the king's agenda. he equated it. he made an interesting little parallel. he said they may get
administration to use patriot missiles to degrade the assad regime's air power and the chair and ranking members of the house intelligence committee have introduced a bill calling for the administration to arm syrian rebels. asked today about whether the united states would provide a more aggressive military response to the syrian crisis, the president would only say this. >> the united states often finds itself in a situation where if it goes in militarily then it's criticized for going in militarily. and if it doesn't go in militarily then people say why aren't you doing something militarily, and, you know, my response at this stage is to make sure that what we do contributes to bringing an end to the bloodshed as quickly as possible. >> joining me now is nbc's peteral exandriny. >> the president wraps up his four-day visit to the middle east tomorrow. with renewed pressure to handle the crisis in syria, a nation he's not visiting, what is the effect of this trip been on that issue, do you think? >> reporter: well, i think we've got a pretty good sense of it as i was there in the news conferen
, president bashar al-assad and his associates are resorting increasingly with other indiscriminate capabilities that terrorize innocent syrians and increase further the flow of refugees out of syria. former secretary panetta discussed the possibility of more robust options for military support last year. and he agreed to bring this matter to his counterparts in brussels. the recent decisions by the french and the british that provided assistance directly to the syrian opposition suggests that the position and nato is by no means unified. admiral come i hope you will provide us with some concept of our current thinking compared to that of our european partnerships, as it relates to syria and possible additional roles for the alliance beyond the deployment. eucom responsibilities include managing military engagement and cooperation, including through the nato and russia council. this includes russia's cooperation with the coalition equipment out of afghanistan, along the northern distribution network through russia and over 110 military to military activities between our two militari
going on between the assad regime and rebels, all this talk in the past 48 hours about possible chemical weapons being used. this is very close to where the president is going to be. and then if you go beyond this, and you move over here to iran, look, here is israel over here, here is syria, here is iraq. here is iran over here. iran is about the size of alaska. you may notice at this point, it is all out here, sort of receiptireceipt i reddish looking. they may be a year away from having a nuclear weapon. the reason this is red is this is the range of the shehadeh 3 missile from iran. it easily reaches over here to israel and that's important to bear in mind, because all this is happening in the small place. here is a simple way to describe it. if you went from tehran directly over to tel aviv, this is the distance from boston to chicago. you cross only four or five states in the united states to cover all that ground and all of these issues, wolf, are happening in this really relatively small area and as we pointed out, right in the middle, here is iraq, some of the turmoil that happe
issue by president obama who warned syria's dictator bashar al-assad that he should not cross that line. bill: the white house has been briefed and the white house has to make some decisions in this. i think the days are becoming more desperate and the regime is more desperate and we know where the chemical weapons are, end quote. peter doocy leads the coverage in washington. how certain are the lawmakers that chemical weapons have been used, peter? >> reporter: not 100% certain, bill but senator feinstein says lawmakers have seen the same intelligence the white house has seen. mike rogers the chairman of the house intelligence committee said in an interview about syria i have a high probability to believe that chemical weapons were used w we need the final verification. i, mike rogers, chairman. intelligence committee would come to the conclusion they are either positioned for use or ready to do that or in fact have been used. if a final verification about chemical weapons use is made, congressman rogers says the united states is morally obligated to take out syria's weapons delivery s
concerned that assad president -- president assad cornered desperate, may turn to these sort of chemical weapons. now, if and as you heard there, it is a big if, if any chemical weapon was used today, unlikely that was sara ran or mustard gas. schedule one chemicals according to the chemical weapons geneva convention. more likely according to some witnesses it was chlorine there was according to at least one witness a smell of chlorine in the air. that is only a schedule 3 chemical weapon. that could provide wiggle room for any western governments talking about red lines here, shep. >> shepard: jonathan hunt in our newsroom in new york. well, a moment for the history books on an a spectacular day in rome. and he sure looked like the people's pope. the new pontiff, pope francis got an upclose and personal with followers young and old as thousands turned up for the inauguration of pope francis. plus, winter is coming to a nasty end. another one-two punch of snow and rain hammering the east. what to expect now ahead from the journalists of fox news on this tuesday fox report. congratulation
his own reasons for wanting to have assad in power. is a kinship between shia and alouites, is a concern that if his government is toppled it puts pressure on sectarian tensions within their record to help us understand why the maliki government is taking the position it is, regarding the conflict in syria. >> you look for simple explanations. many international jihadis entered iraq and committed acts. whether they facilitated or not, they did not stop it. in 2009 after a particular set of horrific bombings, maliki wanted to take them to a criminal court. it looks like rushing, when people see an uprising in spirit, it looks like iraq in 1990, 1991. how did this come about? --is simplistic to say that more the issue is maliki and shia is they must see the threat facing them in the same way that iran sees the threat, and by the threats, i mean this fear of the sunni regime's getting together, coming together to overthrow the shia regime of assad and then overthrowing the shia regime in baghdad. is this fear of the alternative. it is fear is assad is on the turn, that people
to the syrian army through iraqi air space. >> anything that supports president assad is problematic. and i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are, in fact, helping to sustain president assad. there are members of congress and people in america who increasingly are watching what iraq is doing, and wondering how it is that a partner in the efforts for democracy and a partner for whom americans feel they have tried so hard to be helpful, how that country can be, in fact, doing something that makes it more difficult to achieve our common goals. >> nbc's mike taibbi is live for us in akabul, afghanistan. mike, let's talk. this is not a photo op. this is some tough talk from john kerry. how is it being received? >> well, it has been tough talk from secretary of state john kerry, and you wonder how spirited the discussions are going to be with afghan president hamid karzai. they're meeting and now there will be a joint press conference later. the two men know each other. kerry has made five previous trips here when he was a senator. but there have been strained rel
the ancient city of petra. ramp up criticism of syrian president bashar assad. >> ed henry is live this morning in amman jordan with the very latest. good morning, ed. >> good toe sue i goose, interesting. because as you know you have got syria on jordan's northern border. and there are hundreds of thousands of refugees spilled out because of that ongoing civil war. all that strife. the violence, president assad killing his own people. they are winding up here in jordan. many of them and there is a lot of pressure building. damaging his economy big time pressure on president obama at home all around the world to intervene in some way. carl levin saying saying there should be some kind of surgical air strike. maybe the president should help set up a no-fly zone around syria to pressure assad. the bottom line is the president at a news conference here yesterday said he feels like it's a situation where is he damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. take a listen. >> your question may be suggesting is why haven't we simply gone in militarily? and, you know, i think it's fair to say th
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